It is no secret that Americans care about how their teeth look. Almost all of us (99.7%) consider a good looking smile to be important to our social lives. At least three-quarters of us worry that a smile that looks less than great will hurt our careers. As a result, we spend a lot on cosmetic dentistry and tooth whitening products. It has been estimated that people in the United States spend $1.4 billion each year on tooth whitening products and services every year. It is one of the main things that sends people to family dentistry centers around the country.
Dental veneers are becoming more and more popular. A veneer is a thin layer of porcelain or other material that is applied to the surface of a tooth to change its look and shape. Their use has skyrocketed in the last few years. Their use has gone up by more than 250% in the last five years. They typically last between five and ten years, after that, they need to be replaced.
How do I keep my veneers looking great?
- Be careful what you chew on. Family dentistry experts note that people chew on a lot of things that are not food. If you have a proclivity for chewing on plastic items like pens or find yourself munching on your nails, you should stop that if you have veneers. These may be habits you like to break but for your veneers they can also be very damaging. Over time, they can wear away at your porcelain veneers and damage your other cosmetic dentistry. There is one simple rule here, if you cannot eat it, is should not go in your mouth.
- Veneers can stain just like regular teeth. When you visit your family dentistry center for your six month dental check ups, they probably warn you against eating and drinking certain things that will stain your teeth. Dental veneers have properties that make them more resistant to stains but that does not mean they are totally immune. If you want to keep them looking white and bright, avoid smoking cigarettes, red wine, coffee, dark soda, certain berries, tea and beets. Some people opt to drink certain beverages from a straw to protect their veneers. One other thing you can do is brush your teeth after eating or drinking things that can stain your teeth.
- Have your veneers polished. If your regular dentist at the the family dentistry clinic cannot do this, you can see a cosmetic dentist about polishing your veneers. This will greatly extend the length of time they look like new. You should not have this done any more than once every three months or so. The dentist has special tools and products that will get both your veneers and natural teeth as clean as possible.
- Brush and floss regularly. One great thing you can do for your natural teeth and veneers is stick to a good oral hygiene regimen that includes daily brushing and flossing. When you brush and floss frequently you do a lot to keep your teeth looking and feeling their best.
- Stop grinding your teeth. Many people grind their teeth when they sleep. This can do a lot of damage to veneers as well as your natural teeth. Often people who do this are totally unaware they are doing it until they are told by a parter. The clenching of the jaw and shifting of the teeth can do a number on your porcelain veneers. Luckily, you can get help from your family dentistry center. There are a few things you can do such as wear a night tooth guard to protect your teeth and your jaw. Your veneers will last a lot longer if you take care of this.
- Protect your teeth when you play sports. If you play any kind of contact sport that puts your natural teeth at risk, you should wear some sort of protection to avoid breaking them or damaging your veneers.
Porcelain veneers can be a great option to rework and improve your smile. They are easy to apply and, with the proper care, can last a decent amount of time.